Newcastle United are keen to sign Mario Lemina from Southampton as he enters the final year of his contract, according to reports.
After a strong end to the 2020-21 season, Newcastle are looking to consolidate for next year. Preferably, they would not hover above the relegation zone for as long as they did last season. Their form in the final couple of months showed what they are capable of.
But to replicate that form on a more regular basis, they need to find reinforcements in the transfer market. For example, their resurgent run coincided with the impact made by January loan signing Joe Willock.
They will be trying to sign Willock permanently from Arsenal, but the asking price is high. Therefore, they may need to consider other candidates.
Lemina is a more defensive midfielder than goal-hungry Willock. He could inject new qualities into the centre of the pitch for Newcastle after playing 28 times on loan at Fulham last season.
Now having returned to Southampton, he may be available for a permanent transfer. Previous reports have suggested an asking price of just £7m, so he should be within budget.
Given his different qualities to Willock, it would not necessarily end their pursuit of the Arsenal man as well. But only time will tell how much Newcastle are willing to spend.
Newcastle told how to land Willock
Meanwhile, Newcastle have received some advice on how they can complete the permanent capture of Willock.
Arsenal are prepared to sell him this summer but only for a price that might be beyond Newcastle’s reach.
Therefore, one pundit has come up with an ideal solution, citing a Premier League rival…